Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yodeling: the controversy!

I have always loved yodeling, preferably Alpine yodeling, but just about any other type is OK by me, too. I don't think it's just because I can yodel.

But, news to me, there is a love/hate relationship with the vocal technique that shifts from the chest voice to falsetto and back again. Many people actually do not like yodeling.

I didn't know this until I spoke of characters in The Lonely Goatherd, a romantic comedy I plan to make, yodeling.

They're in *Switzerland.*

In the *Alps.*

It's what people do in the Swiss Alps - and dozens of other nations, come to think of it.

There's the country and Western yodel of North America - the USA and Canada.

There's the romantic yodel of Hawaii.

There's the high spirited yodel in Mexican music.

Even exotic Throat Singers have a yodeling style.

What's not to love?

One of the actresses was happy to learn to play the accordion as a beautiful Swiss Miss, but balked at the idea of having to yodel, too. I think her response was, "Yodeling? Really? Eeeeeeeeeew."

Ask people on the street if they like yodeling? I'm shocked to report - they say not so much. One film distributor even *winced* when I mentioned the word. They believe most people do not like yodeling, so maybe we should drop it from the picture.

Wasn't there yodeling in The Sound of Music - one of the most successful films of all time? The song gave me the idea for the film!

Today, at the bank, I asked the teller, who otherwise seems to be a lovely person, "Yodeling. Love it? Hate it?" She responded timidly, "Not... really... a fan."


Is it the sound, the music or the idea of the yodel? Yodeling songs are upbeat. No one can hear yodeling and not smile, even if it's a sweet, sad song lamenting a lost love or comrade.

There's lots of silly yodeling songs, 'cause they're meant to bring fun to the party - and life. In fact, lots of yodeling songs are considered "drinking songs."

IMO, though there is a hearty debate about it, the best yodeler ever is a guy named Franzl Lang. I play his hits collection CD's often. I like to think I've drawn new fans over to the bright side. My assistants never complained when I played them; they admitted they'd never heard real yodeling like that before, but they never complained.

Although, come to think of it, Matt must have been pretty sensitive, because I believe I caught him wiping a tear one day when I played a couple hours of Franzl's hits.

At the risk of offending anyone, here's one of Franzl. Let me know what you think of yodeling!

In case you've never heard Throat Singing, it's the ability to make extraordinary sounds in the throat simultaneously - high, low, whistling, the works. It started when lonely shepherds in Mongolia, Siberia and other mountain areas in the region started playing with the sounds they could make with their throats. It's now an official, internationally recognized vocal style.

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  • At 12:11 AM, Blogger Jenny.H said…

    I love the sound of yodeling, it's just so unique being able to sing notes far apart with hardly a break.. wow! I wish I could do it.


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